Press release

Thames Tideway tunnel gets go ahead

Major new infrastructure project has been given the go ahead to address London's failing sewerage system.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Aerial view of London

A major new infrastructure project to modernise London’s antiquated sewage system has been given the go ahead. This paves the way for the construction of a new 25 kilometre tunnel which will transport sewage and waste water from the capital for treatment.

London’s sewerage system is 150 years old and operating close to capacity which results in sewage overflowing into the river around 50 times a year. This not only harms wildlife but can also pose a health risk.

Evidence has shown that a tunnel is the best solution to address this failing sewerage infrastructure. The Thames tideway tunnel will reduce these sewer spills which can affect those who use the river.

Spanning fourteen London boroughs, the tunnel will run from West London (Acton Storm Tanks) to East London (Abbey Mills pumping station) with a storage capacity of 1,250,000 cubic metres.

This is one of the country’s leading infrastructure projects which will be built and financed by the private sector.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

London is the largest and most dynamic city in Europe and it needs a modern infrastructure system to support it.

In the 21st century, London should not have a river that is polluted by sewage every time there is heavy rainfall.

As one of the country’s leading infrastructure projects, the Thames Tunnel will modernise the capital’s ageing sewerage system and bring important benefits to people’s health, and wildlife.

The decision to grant consent for this Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) was made under the Planning Act 2008. The Thames Tideway Tunnel is the largest ever NSIP.

Published 12 September 2014